Fund helps regional communities

Danielle RaffaeleNorth West Telegraph
Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel, Minister Simone McGurk, BHP's Warren Wellbeloved, Town of Port Hedland Mayor Peter Carter and WACOSS Pilbara manager Celeste Stephens
Camera IconPilbara MLA Kevin Michel, Minister Simone McGurk, BHP's Warren Wellbeloved, Town of Port Hedland Mayor Peter Carter and WACOSS Pilbara manager Celeste Stephens Credit: .

Regional organisations will continue to be bolstered through the BHP Vital Resources Fund, which has so far contributed $8 million to the Pilbara as part of continuing efforts to support rural communities during the global pandemic.

Established in response to the COVID-19 crisis, the $50 million Vital Resources Fund has supported regional communities surrounding the mining giant’s operations.

Organisations have benefited right across the State, reaching as far as the Kimberley.

Services provided through the grant have spanned local health care and mental health providers, business and financial support and Indigenous communities.

The Western Australian Council of Social Services has received more than $1 million as part of the funding assistance initiative to help support the prevention of family and domestic violence across the Pilbara.

WACOSS chief executive officer Louise Giolitto said the funding would go a long way to establishing domestic violences services in the region.

“This includes the establishment of a behaviour change facility, the development of a family and domestic violence strategy for primary prevention, the roll-out of culturally safe, trauma informed training to support our social services and the investment in strategic coordination of the sector,” she said.

BHP asset president Brandon Craig said the company stood “side by side” with the local communities most impacted by the virus in which they operate.

“Over the past year we have provided over $18 million to organisations across WA,” he said.

“The funding has helped regional communities navigate the challenges of the previous year and will set them up for continued success.”

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